Cold War Notes

Notes for some of the ideas that led to tensions between the USSR and the USA during the Cold War.

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  • Created on: 07-11-11 17:51
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THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR
The Cold War was a war of threats and propaganda rather than direct fighting between the two
superpowers; the tension during the period was increased by the development of nuclear weapons.
DIFFERENT IDEOLOGIES
Aspect USA USSR
Type of Government Democratic ­ elected and One party dictatorship ­ could
people had a choice of parties only vote for communists
Economic System Capitalist Communist
Individual Rights Freedom and rights of each Rights were closely controlled
person were important, state by state, as the good of
didn't like to interfere society was more important
Both America and the USSR felt that their way of life was correct, and each had suspicions that the
other wanted to impose their own system of government on the world. The Americans and West
thought that Stalin wanted `World Communism,' and felt that Stalin was trying to strengthen his
position in the West by occupying as much of Germany possible and by taking land that had
previously been owned by Germany. Soviets on the other hand claim that Stalin just wanted to
protect the USSR from future invasions
YALTA CONFERENCE
The conference was attended by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, they agreed on the following:
Germany was to be divided into four zones
The capital of Berlin was to be divided into four zones of occupation
Nazi criminals were to be hunted down and tried for their crimes
Free elections to be held in Eastern Europe
Stalin agreed to help the USA in the war against Japan, in return for gains in the Far East
UN to be set up, replacing the League of Nations; was established in April 1945
Germany should pay reparations for the war
Attitudes of the Leaders:
Roosevelt was ill, but he was keen that democracy should be entered into Eastern Europe
BUT he trusted Stalin and wanted them to remain on good terms
Churchill was concerned about the future of Poland as he did not trust Stalin, as he was
imposing communism on the territory taken over by the Red Army
Stalin wanted to retain Polish territory, and he was obsessed with the security surrounding
the USSR
The Problems:
o The Soviets and Americans interpreted democracy and free elections different.
o People expected Stalin to allow Western style governments to be set up in Eastern Europe
o Stalin knew that Poland would only be friendly towards the USSR by destroying free speech
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POTSDAM CONFERENCE
This conference was after the defeat of Germany, but while the war against Japan was still raging.…read more

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The USA wanted to help the West as it was in The USSR claimed that Marshall aid was dollar
their own interests, as they didn't the markets imperialism, in which the USA would bribe the
to recover to avoid another depression. It also West so that would become dependent on
meant they could start trading again. them, and join their forces against the USSR
COMINFORM AND COMECON
Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) in September 1947 as a response to Marshall Aid and
the Truman Doctrine.…read more

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West had proved they were going to stand up to the Soviet Union, and resist further
expansion
Ended any possibility of unification and in 1949 Germany was divided into the pro West
republic of Germany and the pro Soviet communist East Germany
Seen as a victory in the West and led to the formation of NATO in April 1949
First main crisis of the Cold War
4…read more

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